The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory’s lab director Kevin Strange and regenerative biology researcher Voot Yin will lead a company created based on the research done at MDIBL. Novo Biosciences, Inc., will look at the therapeutic potential of drugs that speed tissue healing and stimulate the regeneration of lost and damaged body parts.
Novo will start by continuing studies with an experimental drug that has been shown to double the regrowth rate of tissue after amputation using a zebrafish. The hope is that one day this work will translate to humans.
“They have a tremendous capacity to replace and regenerate just about any organ,” said Strange of zebrafish. “And the zebrafish doesn’t use any special genes to regrow body parts. It uses the same genes we do.”
Mammals currently have limited abilities to regrow damaged parts, but learning more about why zebrafish have this ability might one day help scientists devise drugs to stimulate similar pathways in humans.